At a distance of 2 km from Maheshwar Bus Station, Baneshwar is an ancient temple located in Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh. Situated on an island between the fast flow of the Narmada River, it is one of the sacred places to visit in Maheshwar.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Baneshwar Temple is believed to have been commissioned in the 5th century and later renovated by Rajmata Ahilyabai Holkar. Locals say that Ahilyabai used to come in the early hours of the morning in a special boat to worship Lord Shiva. The temple is a single-room structure built in stone. The triangular walls of the temple are a fine example of an ancient technique that protects the temples from sharp currents. Though it is highly simplistic in design, the ethereal beauty and mysticism of this island temple take your breath away.
Legend has it that this temple has existed since the Dwapura Yuga. According to Hindu mythology, Banasura wished to please Lord Shiva and decided to consecrate a Shiva Linga at the center point of the earth and perform penance. When he wished to know the location of the center point of the earth, this spot was revealed to him by goddess Bhudevi. Banasura immediately installed a Shiva Linga at the very spot and made the entire area into a small island. Banasura spent years in penance on this island and had pleased Lord Shiva. Ancient texts tell that this is the center of the Universe, the axis that connects the earth with the Pole Star or North Star.
From the river Ghats, one can get colorful small boats that drift across the water to reach Baneshwar Temple. The river is calm and peaceful, except during the monsoon.
Timings: 8 AM - 5 PM
Entry: Free, Rs. 50 per Person for Boat Ride